The New York Times on Saturday endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich to be their respective party’s presidential nominee, lauding both as experienced politicians and advocates for the middle class.
Kasich, Ohio’s governor and a former congressman, said the endorsement from the influential, liberal paper shows that his politics appeals to a wide range of Americans but argued he is at heart a conservative.
“You want to have everybody for you,” Kasich, polling in single digits in most national GOP polls, told Fox News. “I’ve been a conservative all of my life but I’m an includer.”
The Times’ editorial board called Kasich an “underdog” but “the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race.”
However, the board didn’t make the endorsement before criticizing leading GOP primary candidates businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, calling them “equally objectionable.”
The board members essentially argued that Trump was too inexperienced and that Cruz’s platform was based too much on personal ambition.
The board said Kasich, also endorsed by the liberal-leaning Boston Globe, was “not moderate” but said he was “capable of compromise” and acknowledged his efforts to expand ObamaCare in Ohio through expanded Medicaid.
The paper’s endorsement of the front-running Clinton was not a surprise, considering in part that she is a former New York senator and has her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn.
The paper in part cited her experience as secretary of state and her plans to end income inequality, and it defended Clinton changing her position on international trade, saying she has “shown a refreshing willingness to learn and to explain … why she changed her mind on trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
The paper acknowledged in the second-to-last paragraph the inquiry into Clinton’s use of a private server and emails as secretary of state, saying the concerns are “legitimate and deserve forthright answers.”
The board praised Clinton primary challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ contribution to the 2016 debate but said he lacks experience.
Members also argued that some of the self-described Democratic Socialist’s plans, including those to reform health care, are “unrealistic.”